The Nashte wale Ganeshji mandal at Sendhwa in Barwani has become very popular with devotees for the delicious snacks served as prasad after the evening prayers during the 10-day Ganesh utsav.
As a district situated on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra, the people of Barwani celebrate the Ganesh festival in a grand manner, with hundreds of Ganesh Mandals dotting the area.
But unlike other pandals, one can witness long rows of devotees in front of the “Nashte wale Ganesh Ji” pandal where they get delicious food and snacks as “prasad” after the evening prayers, said members of Khajarana ka Raja Ganesh Utsav Mandal, which organizes the festival.
Member of the organising committee said they do not want devotees to go to bed on an empty stomach so they decided to offer wholesome meals and snacks instead.
“Every mandal distributes prasad after the prayer so… we decided to do something different and started distributing snacks and food instead of prasad,” said the former president of Sendhwa Nagar Palika, Ashok Tayal.
“The mandal committee started the unique tradition eight years back. In the beginning, we decided to distribute ‘kadi’ and khichadi’ as prasad on the first day of the Ganesh festival. We got an overwhelming response and continued the tradition,” he said. We formed a 24-member committee… and started distributing various snacks for all the 10 days of the festival.”
More than 40,000 devotees visit the mandal during the 10-day festival who are offered different a wide variety of snacks and wholesome meals after the evening prayers, Tayal added.
Manoj Patel, a key member of the committee, who manages the funds, said, “Other mandals distribute prasad and organise bhandara or mass feast on the first day of the festival but we believe in satisfying everyone’s hunger…and we are doing it for last eight years.”